The first full week of 2016 found a couple teams dropping from the unbeaten ranks, a coaching change, and some explosive offense.
Oglethorpe Hands Birmingham-Southern First Loss of Season
BR-207 Oglethorpe handed BR-44 Birmingham-Southern their first defeat of the season after running off eight unanswered points during the final 2:25, squeezing past the Panthers 58-56. BSC led 56-50 at the 2:41 mark before Oglethrope closed the door on their offense, running the table the remainder of the game.
Senior Yorisha Bryant led all scorers with 25 points on the night, with a 9-17 showing from the floor and 7-of-8 from the charity stripe, to go along with her 12 rebound and five blocked shots.
With the loss the Panthers drop to 11-1 overall and 2-1 in the Southern Athletic Association, while the Stormy Petrels record stands at 6-7 overall, and 1-2 in the SAA.
Murphy Picks up 4th UAA Honor; Carnegie Mellon Continues to Roll
In two games, BR-8 Carnegie Mellon junior offensive powerhouse Lisa Murphy shot 90.5% (19-21) from the floor and averaged 27.0 points and 10.5 rebounds gaining the junior center her fourth UAA Player of the Week honor this season. In a 40-point win on the road against BR-363 Westminster, Murphy scored 23 points in 26 minutes of action, missing just one attempt from the field. The Tartans then defeated BR-213 Muskingum for their eighth double-digit victory, with Murphy recording her fourth 30-plus point game (31 points) and fourth double-double of the season, with 12 rebounds. She was also perfect from the free throw line (9-9) against the Fighting Muskies.
During an 85-61 victory at Case Western Reserve, the Tartans, now 12-0 on the season, won their second straight game by 24 points. The game began with a 13-2 run for Tartans as they made four-of-five from the field with Murphy draining four free throws.
The Tartans would lead by as many as 26 points in the fourth quarter while Murphy scored 10 of her game high 33 points in the final period.
Alfredo Named SUNY-Purchase Interim Head-Coach
The BR-413 SUNY Purchase women’s basketball program will be heading in a new direction, after the replacement of head coach Kellianne Dunlay during a mid-season change. James Alfredo, a longtime local basketball coach has been named the interim head women’s coach, in a move announced this week by Athletic Director Chris Bisignano.
Excited to take on his new role, Alfredo, who is also the head golf coach at Purchase, said “We are happy to continue the effort, with the objectives of improving player development and team play.” Alfredo will be joined on the bench with by a new assistant, Jess Lindsay, a former Panther three-sport athlete and 1,000 point scorer from the women’s basketball program.
Bluffton Stays Unbeaten
As the only unbeaten team outside our top-20, BR-34 Bluffton took advantage of a 15-3 run midway through the fourth quarter to finally pull away as the Beavers finished off BR-294 Anderson for a 75-66 victory.
Bluffton stays a perfect 13-0, and 6-0 in the Heartland Conference, while Anderson slips to 3-10 and 2-4 in the HCAC.
The Ravens pulled to within a point on a Shelby Shaffer three-pointer with 8:29 to play, before the Beavers ran off eight straight points for the largest lead of game at 68-59 just three minutes later. Kaycee Rowe scored four straight while Rachel Bening and Macey Sheerer put in a pair each from the free-throw line to make it a nine-point game with 5:11 left to play.
A three from Anderson pulled the score to within six, but the Ravens pulled away in the closing minutes to secure the nine-point win.
Keene State Drops From Unbeaten Ranks
BR-149 Southern Maine used a dominant fourth-quarter, outscoring BR-31 Keene State 32-14 in the final stanza to complete a 17-point comeback, earning a 65-59 win in Little East Conference women's basketball action.
The Owls were one win shy of a new school record for consecutive victories, as Keene State had its 11 game season opening winning streak end with the loss.
The Huskies came roaring out of the gate in the fourth quarter, opening up on a 14-0 run, including 10 points from Ella Ramonas, to take a 47-45 lead.
Owl senior guard Kelsey Cognetta tied the score at 47 with 5:49 to go, only to see Ramonas and Kayla Stacy connect on threes for a 53-48 lead.
Stephanie D'Annolfo's layup with 2:39 to play pulled the Owls to a tie at 53, but Alexa Srolovitz hit another three with 2:26 to go for the Huskies, and Keene State never got closer than three after that. The Huskies made seven free throws in the final 1:37.